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Checking income inequality key to fighting poverty

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Oct 31 � Ninety million Indians could be lifted out of extreme poverty by 2019 if only the country manages to prevent a rise in income inequality, according to a report by an international development organisation, reports PTI.

The gap in income shared between the richest 10 per cent and poorest 40 per cent of the population in India has been on a constant increase from 1995 and the benefits of growth have increasingly accrued to the richest members of society, pushing income inequality ever higher, according to the report released by Oxfam here today. The report, �Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality�, is based on research by Oxfam into the increasing gap globally between the rich and the poor. According to the report, India could end extreme poverty for 90 million people by 2019 if income inequality was reduced.

Blaming �poverty wages� for accelerating economic inequality, the report said that the richest people have high and rapidly rising salaries and bonuses whereas the poor suffer the indignity of poverty wages. It found evidence of poverty wages and insecure jobs in middle-income India as also in countries like Vietnam and Kenya.

Talking about the �billionaire boom�, Oxfam says that in early 2014, the 85 richest individuals in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

Highlighting the boom in India, the report said, �The number of India�s billionaires increased from just two in the 1990s to 65 in early 2014. And, today there are 16 billionaires in sub-Saharan Africa, alongside the 358 million people living in extreme poverty.�

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